• 16 Jun, 2020
  • By UHAPO
  • 1636

Lung cancer is associated with high rates of depression and anxiety. Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and handles daily activities. Anxiety, which can appear as a general anxiety disorder or panic disorder.According to new research, patients who suffer from anxiety and depression after being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer are more likely to die sooner. Since emotional distress is associated with continued smoking and the failure of quit attempts, psychological interventions could potentially affect the survival time of lung cancer patients. 3

It is estimated that one in four people with lung cancer experience periods of depression or other psychosocial problems during and after treatment. Other studies have shown rates of 43 to 47% of patients with lung cancer who experience depression. 1

Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

Depression is characterized by some of the following symptoms almost the entire day, almost every day, for at least two weeks. Symptoms such as persistent sad, anxious, or persistent empty mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability, decreased energy, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt, lack of worth or helplessness, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, difficulty sleeping too much or too much sleep, changes in appetite or weight, thoughts of death or suicide. Generalized anxiety is characterized by excessive anxiety or anxiety for months.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety include difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, winding, nervousness, easy fatigue, increased muscle tension, difficulty controlling anxiety, and trouble sleeping. 1

Effects of Depression and Anxiety in Lung Cancer Patients

Anxiety and depression have negative effects on the quality of life of people with lung cancer. 1 In other words, anxiety and depression are associated with a decrease in the quality of life for lung cancer patients. One study found that anxiety increased significantly during chemotherapy and was associated with a decrease in quality of life. Anxiety decreased at the end of chemotherapy but did not return to pre-chemotherapy levels. Anxiety and depression are predictors of quality of life, but do not explain the total differences in quality of life. 4

Several studies have shown that anxiety and depression have been linked to a cancer diagnosis. 1

Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are usually treated with psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of therapy and medications. 1



  1. https://lungcancer.net/complications-related-conditions-depression-anxiety/ last accessed on 5th April 2019

  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170124140755.htm last accessed on 5th April 2019

  3. https://lungdiseasenews.com/2017/01/31/lung-cancer-patients-with-anxiety-depression-die-sooner-study/ last accessed on 5th April 2019

  4. Brown C. Brodsky J. Cataldo J. Lung Cancer Stigma, Anxiety, Depression and Quality of Life. J Psychosoc Oncol. 2014; 32(1): 59–73.

  5. https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-019-6181-4

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945268/